What is VCAT?

VCAT UNDERWRITING GUIDELINES

This guideline is intended for VCAT Underwriters who support general programming or VCAT produced programming.  This guideline is not intended to apply to underwriting for independent, individual producers who create programming to be submitted on VCAT.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Underwriting Guidelines, an underwriting “spot” is:

1. No longer than 15 seconds.

2. Includes no calls to action (i.e. “Come on down, “You’re invited,” “Buy our products!”

3. Includes no comparative language (i.e. “We’re better than…,” “The best in town,” “No other…”)

 

General Underwriters may be credited with an acknowledgment shown in rotation at least 3 times per week between programs with audio and video including the underwriter’s name, address telephone number and a logo and/or exterior of business. A brief descriptive line may follow the credit factually describing the underwriter’s business (e.g., “Computer Products and Repairs”, “thousands of books available”).  Products and brand logos may be included.  No price information or dates or sales may be included.

Underwriters for Programs may be credited with an acknowledgment at the beginning and/or end of each show with audio and video including the underwriter’s name, and address telephone number and a logo and/or exterior of business.  A brief descriptive line may follow the credit factually describing the underwriter’s business (e.g., “Computer Products and Repairs”, “thousands of books available”).  Products and brand logos may be included.  No price information or dates or sales may be included.

Each underwriter may be acknowledged no longer than fifteen (15) seconds each time at the beginning and/or end of the program.  Total underwriting acknowledgments may be no longer than two (2) minutes per hour of programming, or one minute per half-hour.

 

The following are not permitted:

1. Superlative description or qualitative claims about any underwriting company, its products or services; any comparison with other companies, or with other company’s product or service, whether direct or implied.

2. Any inducements to buy, sell, rent, or lease.

3. If underwriting a VCAT produced program, official spokespersons, owners, employees, or professional talent that are featured in commercial promotion of a underwriter’s business or product may not appear on any program for which the underwriter has provided support without prior staff approval.

4. If underwriting a VCAT produced program, a business location must not be prominently featured in any program for which that business or its owners or managers has provided underwriting support.  An exception to this policy may be made for a situation in which an event is documented occurring at an underwriting business location and the resulting program does not explicitly feature products or services there or serve as an overt inducement to patronize the business.  Such exceptions will be granted contingent on staff review of the program (s) in question and may be withdrawn if references to the business are more than incidental.

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